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Apathy Streetwear

Started at Towson University in 2014 by Chris Miller and his friend Chris Miller, Apathy is a clothing brand worn by streetwear enthusiasts around the world, including Youtube stars. Apathy’s aesthetics are grounded in the skateboarding history of streetwear, but becomes innovative through artist collaborations and original designs. The brand states that it makes clothes for those who don’t care what others think, and Apathy practices this message by rejecting fashion industry norms.

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Podcast: The Scene

Soundcloud Link to Podcast

Intro music courtesy of Noah Pierre.

Noah Pierre, a senior jazz musician at Towson University, will soon be releasing a collaborative album called The Scene. Playing alongside his peers at Towson, Pierre says The Scene is about newcomers taking up the mantle of the Baltimore jazz community.

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Podcast Script

[Intro Music]

[VO] Noah Pierre is a senior at Towson University. He is majoring in jazz commercial performance with a focus in guitar. This year, along with his peers in the Jazz department, Noah recorded a jazz album called The Scene.    

[SOT Noah Pierre] So a lot of the baltimore music scene I feel like has been riding out on some of the of the older dudes, and I feel like we as the young musicians coming up in Baltimore need to take ownership of the scene that surrounds us. That’s also the same reason that everyone that plays on the record goes to school with me they’re my homies that are kinda around my age. So the whole concept of “The Scene” is that this is the scene and it’s our responsibility as young musicians to take ownership of it.

[VO] Working on this project played a part in Pierre’s self discovery as a jazz musician.     

[SOT Noah Pierre] I feel like only recently, like in the past year or two, I’ve started to really find like my voice; like what does Noah sound like when he plays jazz? So this project was me just writing over the course of a few months – super organically and super non rushed – and after a while I was like why don’t I put all these together and see what it sounds like as a project?

[VO] Brendan Brady is one jazz student Pierre chose to collaborate with. Brady, a drummer, was happy to play alongside a musician he has known for years.

[SOT Brendan Brady] It’s just been an incredibly fun experience because I’ve gotten to grow with Noah, he’s a close friend mine and he was my first real friend in the jazz department. We’ve bonded over music so its been really cool to see how our musical styles have both shifted and also stayed the same. This album, It’s like a beautiful accumulation of our time studying jazz and how our passions have shifted musically – and it’s all music he wrote, and it sounds really slammin’. It sounds really awesome and I’m super happy that he has me playing on his album.

[VO] As a full time student who also works as a freelance musician and plays in Monk, a rock funk band, Pierre can be hard pressed for time. To him finding time to make the album was worth it.     

[SOT Noah Pierre] Man there’s quite a bit of challenges, I think the biggest thing is just schedules. Finding time where we can rehearse and stuff and there’s the whole scheduling of the sessions you know? So yeah sometimes I wonder like, I don’t even have time to be doing this, why did I do this? But I just really wanted to have something that I could say this is what I went to school for and this is who I went to school with, look at how good we all sound!’

[VO] The Scene will be releasing December 2019. This has been Rohan Mattu for Towson University.

[Fade in outro music]

A Rebirth: Towson’s Club Flag Football

Towson University’s club flag football team held an impromptu scrimmage Tuesday night at Burdick field, the final score was 21-20. Intramural director Dave Stewart reached out to club president Akeem Mustafa about bringing the team to the field in order help new student referees practice – a favor that may not have been granted last year.

The teams were split into seven that wore pennies, and seven that did not – a shirts team. The Quarterbacks for the penny team were Cameron Cunningham and Cullen Joyce; the shirts had Zach Zalovick and John Purdy. Pennies prevailed with a fantastic interception by Sean Sullivan in the final quarter.

IMG_9238Game Winner: Sean Sullivan making an interception at the opponent’s end zone – he took the ball all the way to the other end, cinching a win for the penny team.

Cunningham was not at peak performance, throwing two interceptions. Purdy performed well, completing a lot of his passes and scoring a touchdown. Cullen did a lot of scrambling and scored two rushing touchdowns. Zalovick, who impressed, threw one touchdown.

Billy Haddish has become a team favorite through his sheer athleticism, demonstrated in the scrimmage. This season is his first playing football, yet he caught the most balls and had the most completions throughout the game. He remained throughout the game as other members were swapped out for fresh players on the sideline.

Club flag football has undergone a sort of rebirth this semester under Mustafa’s presidency. The club suffered from irresponsible decisions and attitude from leadership preceding him – something Mustafa saw as a member and set out to change.

After seven years, Towson’s club flag football team had begun to crumble from a lack of decisive and responsible leadership. Mustafa, now in his senior year, had been on the team since his freshman year, and he knew what the club needed – discipline and accountability.

IMG_9083.jpgA close call: Tre Deva falls short of grabbing Billy Haddish’s flag.

“Where we are at this point is pretty amazing, and I’m proud,” said Mustafa. “There were some doubts that you know, we would even have the club again this year.

Julianna Harvey has been a graduate advisor for intramural sports for two years, and witnessed firsthand the effect Mustafa’s leadership has had, even this early on in the year.

“The team has drastically changed since last year. It was evident that the leadership wanted to participate in flag football last year, but there was a huge amount of apathy in regards to club management and development,” said Harvey. “I do not see that at all meeting with Akeem every week. Our program has a lot of deadlines and expectations, but he has been willing and able to do the work and put in the time to meet them.”

“There were a lot of things [the previous president] didn’t do right during my junior year. Missing weekly meetings and having various violations,” said Mustafa.

One of these violations include what Mustafa refers to as “the pillow incident.” Last year the club participated in the University of Albany Flag Football clinic, a tournament comprised of various flag football teams along the East Coast. Jared Frazier, the president at the time, decided to take a pillow from the hotel the team stayed at. That choice followed the team all the way back to Towson.

At the end of his college career, Frazier chose not to write the punitive essay assigned to him by Towson’s disciplinary board, instead abandoning the club altogether. To clear the club’s name, Mustafa wrote the essay himself.

“Their actions fell on us, and there’s just a lot of picking up to do with restoring the club, because we didn’t want to be seen as the club that has issues,” said Mustafa.

As the winners of last year’s tournament in Albany, Towson’s team won a free bid to attend again this year. Mustafa has no intention of repeating last years mistake. A changed team will be present.

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LKT Game Night – Photo Set

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An intense game of Catch Phrase, a popular party game, goes on with newcomers to Lambda Kappa Tau, Towson University’s media production society. 
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Here attendees of the game night play Heads Up, an app in which a player guesses the word on their forehead. The theme of this particular game was blockbuster movies – a game topic the film society is particularly fond of.
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On the deck, attendees take a cigarette break and escape the now packed apartment.
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Host Carter Mason enjoying some of the snacks he provided. “Just like a film set, it’s important to keep snacks and food around to keep people happy,” he said.

 

A Jazz Jam at Homeslyce

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Every Wednesday in Baltimore, pizza restaurant Homeslyce hosts a jazz jam from 8-11 p.m. At its location on 336 N. Charles St., professional musician Todd Marcus works with Homeslyce to transform the restaurant into not only an eatery, but a venue with potent live jazz permeating every corner of the room. The sound accompanies the savory smell of the pizza quite well.

On these nights, one never knows when someone at the neighboring table might pull out a trumpet and join the fray of musicians playing in the front of the cozy restaurant. There seems to be a method to the madness, musicians who just met somehow know how to play music with one another. One might equate a jazz jam to a theatrical musical, in which actors happen to know every song and dance to perform in unison. It is the collaborative and improvisational nature of jazz that makes this possible.

“This is a regular weekly jam session, which in jazz is one of the ways in which this music has been shared, passed on, and built community for decades.” Said Marcus having just performed with his bass clarinet in front musicians and customers alike. “I feel a great value in bringing people together and fostering community – this is what I call my jazz community service. I don’t teach but I’m here building that sense of community, supporting younger players and connecting them with established veteran players too. This has been going for over three years now.”

There’s a reason the weekly jam session has sustained itself for so long – Homeslyce has proven itself an excellent location. “This venue is just a really good match for this jam session – we have the front window the musicians play in front of, people walking by on the street see and hear the session and they want to come in,” said Marcus. There is a kind of symbiotic relationship between the jazz jam and the restaurant – musicians are able test their grit, and in return they garner customers. The venue is student friendly as well, with moderate price point of $9 to $25. The skee ball machine and pool table in the back help its already vibrant atmosphere.

A drummer and jazz performance student at Towson University, Brendan Brady feels that attending and performing at jazz jams are a monumental part of his growth as an artist. “A huge part of growing as a musician is learning to play with people of different ages, styles, everything. I’ve grown as a musician here because I feel like I’ve learned to interact and adapt with random people in any musical situation in the moment, which is a huge part of jazz,” said Brady.  

The event was a sort of who’s who, drawing highly respected musicians from the area. Present this particular Wednesday, Sept. 5, was prominent double bassist Kris Funn, as well as highly respected and recognized drummer Quincy Phillips. There are not many other places jazz students can play beside musicians of this caliber other than a jazz jam.

The collaborative nature and opportunity to learn from the greats is not lost on students present. “I asked Quincy Phillips some stuff about drums. He’s a great guy I’ve made friends with and he was giving me pseudo lessons,” said Brady.

Also present and playing was a new figure in the Baltimore jazz scene – Sean Jones. Jones, an internationally recognized trumpeter, has just begun his first academic year as the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He invited some of his students to accompany him to the jam session, 12 were able to attend.

“It is crucial to the developing artist to be performing, collaborating, and work shopping with not only their peers, but their mentors in order to get the full range of their artistic education. There is only so much that can be done in the classroom.” Said Jones in an email. “Jam sessions provide an organic place of learning by allowing students to discover for themselves where their deficiencies are as well as their tendencies, both positive and negative.”

Loring Cornish – Mosaic Artist Worshipping Through Art

 

By Rohan Mattu

454 Words

Mosaic artist Loring Cornish has transformed his two Baltimore row homes into shimmering, faith infused, spectacular installations – with floors meticulously covered in coins, chandeliers comprised of discarded colored glass, and a shower of telephones.

Having one home in Fell’s Point, and another near Druid Hill Park, Cornish opens his homes for all to see, as visitors wander through the narrow, shimmering hallways, and see pieces that could have only been painstaking to create, one might wonder “why?”

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“My art is a form of my expression to God, “Cornish said. “I became an artist because I wanted to worship God full-time, without any interruptions. Out of my worship came art, it is a by product of my worship to God, that’s how I would explain my art. I never made up in my mind that I was going to be an artist.”

Cornish, who declined to give his age,  has always been religious. Raised in Baltimore, his grandfather was a deacon, and his mother instilled her father’s beliefs into her children.

Cornish learned his art through a sick friend in Los Angeles, whom he chose to stay with and take care of.

“As I was taking care of him, he taught me how to do mosaic art at his sick-bed, because I needed something to do as I wouldn’t leave his side,” Cornish said. “That’s how the art got into me, he was the best artist I had ever seen in my life.”

One of Cornish’s core sentiments is that of freedom in its purest form. He tries his best to avoid restraint from others, and he tries his best not to restrain his art.

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“I have to continue to be free, I can’t do what other people think should be done. I have to do me, I can’t do structure, my gallery doesn’t work like that,” Cornish said. “It’s important to me that I can worship God the way I want to with my art, whether I’m naked, or fully clothed, or shirtless, or cussing, or whatever. “

Cornish prefers most his time by himself, as he feels most liberated with himself. He wants to be able to turn his music up when he wants to, get out of bed when he wants to, and turn out the light when he wants to. His freedom and solitude is his way of worshipping god full-time, and his unique art is the embodiment of his devotion.

“It’s my freedom to be free as god has made me to be, without the stipulation of what religion or worship looks like.”

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Photojournalism Package: Turnover at TCNJ

By Rohan Mattu

380 words

The College of New Jersey, commonly known as TCNJ, held a free concert in Decker Hall on Tuesday night; hosted by the College Union Board, the show included the bands Rhea, Peaer, and Turnover.

TCNJ is known for having shows that cater to the strong alternative scene on their campus and in the surrounding area, thanks to CUB Alt, a branch of the College Union Board dedicated to bringing in Alternative and Indie genre musicians to play at their school, usually free to attend.

The band Rhea is a locally known, self described “bedroom pop” band from New Jersey. They opened up the show with three dynamic, dreamy songs. The lead singer and rhythm guitarist mentioned between songs that this was the biggest show her band had played by far, an audience of about 250.

Peaer followed with five more tunes. Peter Katz, head of the band, acknowledged the honor he took in opening for Turnover, a band from Virginia Beach with millions of listens on each of their songs on Spotify.

Finally, Turnover performed a full set of 10 songs from their latest album, “Peripheral Vision,” a mellow, dulcet collection centered on thinking about the past. Complementing the dreamy music from the bands were colored LED lights flooding the stage, painting the performers red, blue, and purple.

Though the shows are intended to be mainly for TCNJ students and the surrounding area, some travel quite far for the chance to see such a popular band for free. Pocholo Itona, a student from Towson University, traveled over two hours from Baltimore with three friends for the show.

“It’s Tuesday, I have an 8 a.m. class in the morning, and I traveled really far,” Itona said, “but I think it’s worth it to see a band that I’d have to pay over twenty dollars to see anywhere else.”

TCNJ student Alexa Bonoma spoke about the pleasure of having shows that suited her and her friends taste being so easily accessible.

“Because of CUB Alt I can go to shows that play music that I actually like, and not what you hear on the radio,” Bonoma said. “I not only get to see the bands I listen to every day, but it’s on campus, and it’s free.”